Monday, June 04, 2007

Twins 3; Angels 16

For the first few innings, this looked like your typical Angels-Twins tilt. Low scoring, good pitching, great defense, questionable baserunning, exciting plays on the bases and at the plate...

The Angels had extended a little bit in the fifth, putting together a two out rally, Orlando Cabrera's single bookended by doubles from Reggie Willits and Vlad Guerrero. After a Gary Matthews fly out, things had settled down.

Then, with one out in the sixth, Boof Bonser, who had been a strike throwing machine, threw three consecutive balls to Casey Kotchman. The fourth pitch was a strike, and it ended up about 8-10 rows deep in the right field seats. It was such a nice swing, I had to re-watch it a couple of times just to hear the crack of the bat. Then the floodgates opened. After a Howie Kendrick single, Mike Napoli knocked one into the second bullpen, and a two run lead was suddenly a five run lead. As if to rub it in, the Angels added two more runs with two out, Cabrera singling home Figgins (who should have been out stealing second), and a Matthews single following a Guerrero IBB for an 8-1 lead.

But this time eight wasn't enough. Willits, Cabrera, and Vlad reached again (a second straight IBB to Vlad), and Gary Matthews made them pay again, this time with a grand slam. And the hits just kept coming. Garret Anderson followed with a homer of his own. As much I love watching Vladdy hit it deep, there's just something about the swing that GA takes on home run balls that is really beautiful to watch. They weren't finished until they had doubled up that 8 runs for a total of 16 on 23 hits.

Almost lost in the shuffle was an excellent performance from Jered Weaver, who allowed six baserunners, one homer, and struck out four over seven innings. He's now 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA. I think that will come down a notch or so, and he'll finish the season closer to 3.50. I'd take that in a heartbeat. That would be a quality major league season.

After going 8-2 in their last ten, the Angels now sit 15 games over .500, trailing only the Red Sox and Mets in the race for baseball's best record. This has been a pretty nice 59 games, and a fantastic last 26, in which they've gone 20-6. They've been fun to watch.

Now let's hope they didn't use all their runs last night. And if they did, well, Kelvim is used to getting little help.

1 comment:

Kenneth said...

I know what you mean about GA's HR swing. It just looks so effortless.

Vlad is fun to watch as well. However, every swing of his looks like he is trying to chop down a tree.

BTW, it looks like you might get your wish regarding Hillenbrand.

Isn't he at least worth keeping around as an over-paid pinch-hitter?